From Church & State: Autumn 2006

Bertie's Defence To The News Of The World

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern: '. . . I look forward to going into the Dáil to make available all the information I have'

NEWS OF THE WORLD, 1st October 2006

"…The events that have come into the public arena following an illegal leak have dragged my family and friends to centre stage. I am deeply sorry for the distress they have all suffered.
Politics, sport and serving my community are my only outside interests. I neither have nor crave personal wealth or the trapping of affluence…
Never, in all the time I have served in public life, have I taken a bribe or in any way put my personal interest ahead of the public good. I have served this country and the people I have the honour to represent in Dáil Éireann honestly.
I have for many years endured all sorts of false allegations and they have proven to be false…
I have provided more details about my personal finances than any person in this House who has ever held office.
I have shown that I have not abused any office I have held and I have never used public office for personal financial gain. Somebody who has access to confidential documents decided to leak them to a newspaper.
With contempt for the courts and the tribunal process, this person made a sinister calculation. They thought if they could leak this information about me and my family, they could destroy me. They are wrong…
People made secret allegations about me - like I had €15 million stashed away, or that I had bank accounts in exotic places such as the Dutch Antilles and Mauritius. These were lies. In disproving the lies, I provided my details to the tribunal - and now someone has leaked those details in an effort to throw up more material to damage me.
The people who are pushing this story have one objective in mind. They want to drive me from office. They will not succeed.
However, on a positive note, I do want to say that I have been overwhelmed by the huge level of support and encouragement I have received from people across Ireland…"

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